Reposted from a story Published: Oct. 25, 2012 at 12:23 PM
NEW YORK, Oct. 25 (UPI) — NEW YORK, Oct. 25 (UPI) — The Statue of Liberty in New York will be wheelchair accessible for the first time when it opens this weekend after a year of renovations, officials said.
Statue of Liberty Superintendent David Luchsinger said the renovations, which include installing new staircases and an elevator designed for wheelchair-bound guests who wish to visit the observation decks, will allow about 26,000 more people to visit the monument per year when it reopens on its 126th birthday Sunday, CNN reported Thursday.
Luchsinger said about 3.5 million people visit the statue each year.
“Folks that have never been able to maneuver on the staircases can now go all the way up to the observation deck and experience that,” he said. “She’s not only our Statue of Liberty, she’s the world’s Statue of Liberty.”
Larry Hughes, a Vietnam War veteran, was chosen as the first wheelchair user to test out the elevator.
“You see this stuff on TV … but to actually be here, it takes on a whole brand new dimension,” Hughes said
Originally Posted on: http://en.ria.ru/russia/20121008/176483809.html
By JUJU KIM | @jujkim | October 8, 2012 |
Every time I rock wall climb I catch the 7 train from Main St., Flushing which has an elevator from the street level to the train. Then I get off at Queensboro Plaza where I roll 20 feet straight across the platform straight onto the train. When I get to the Atlantic Pacific Station I get straight onto an elevator to the mezzanine then a second one to the street level. Well the ABC 7 news announced that for the next month from Friday night to Monday morning the 7 train would not go all the way into Manhattan, but would stop at Queensboro Plaza. I thought, no problem I only go that far to go climbing. They forgot to tell the public and especially the disabled public, that the rerouting of the trains meant they were no longer wheelchair accessible. Even though I am a regular and all the Main St, Flushing station, the staff know me, no one gave us the heads up. Not only did the train terminate at Queensboro Plaza, but it stopped on a higher floor platform one level above my train that I need to go climbing.The platform we pulled up at had no elevators so me and every other wheelchair bound person would have to, like I did this morning, get out of their chair and crawl down over a 100 stairs on our asses while dragging our chairs behind us down the stairs. What amazes me is when you’re on a train they constantly bombard you with inane recordings that no one cares about but one really important one like “attention disabled persons disembarking at Queensboro Plaza, we apologize but the platform we will be stopping at is not accessible.” Is that too much to ask?
Since when is the price of a life of disability crawling on greasy spit (and god knows what else) covered metal plate stairs every time you catch a train? Put a little more thought into repairs next time MTA.
When I lived back in my native Australia I worked with a mental health therapy group called grow mental health international, our mission was when someone who had been in long term institutional care was being released we worked with them from a couple of weeks before release to help them reacclimatize with society. WE would regularly take groups of former patients on weekend getaways. The form we used for each patient looked like this.
Emergency contact number—
Special dietary requirements—
Do you use a mobility aid if so what kind?
The questions above were required because if the person requires medication we need to know in case they start showing symptoms, we could make sure they had taken it. The dietary requirements were neccessary to know about, because so many of us me included can actually be medical compromised if they eat the wrong thing and if there are diabetics amongst we must provide sugar free. Allergies are important to now about because so many foods have hidden ingredients, and while for most they are just flavor to many they are deadly.
Of course knowing about mobility aids means you can in advance organize appropriate accommodation, and organize help if the pathways and tracks used might make movement difficult for those using certain aids.
All this must be known before you ever get to the fun stuff which is the point of the trip such as boating or climbing or biking or any other activity.
To tell someone who is part of a group that is made up 100% of people who are dis or otherwise abled that “it’s not their faulty if you opt out of perfectly good food “ and that they shouldn’t be required to provide anything different for special needs guests is you sir opting out of your duty of care.
If a destination doesn’t want to provide special needs arrangements for special needs guests, then I am sorry they should be banned from encouraging them to visit. There is a medical term called “duty of care” in medical legalese there is a law that says if a doctor or medical professional comes upon a accident they don’t have to stop they can go straight past, but if they do they must provide care to the best of their professional ability until they are relieved by another medical professional with equal or greater or specialized skills pertinent to the condition of the patient. In short you don’t have to have special needs guests you can say sorry this destination is unsuitable for the physically compromised, but if you do you must do it to the highest professional standard. If you charge a fee for “all meals and accommodation” by law under the Americans with disabilities act if you are knowingly taking a fee to house and feed the disabled you must be ADA compliant and provide said services to the letter of the federal act or not at all. So as we new Yorkers say go big or go home you cannot charge for what you do not provide hmmm such a paradox isn’t it.
Below is a paragraph from the Americans with disabilities act pertaining to public accomadations.
Restaurants, hotels, theaters, shopping centers and malls, retail stores, museums, libraries, parks, private schools, day care centers, and other similar places of public accommodation may not discriminate on the basis of disability. 28 CFR 36.201. Effective Date: January 26, 1992,
when you charge a set fee for food and accommadation and provide it for one half of the group but when the other half is disabled and their food requirements are part of that disability and you refuse to feed them because of the food requirements, you are in direct violation of the federal act above you have refused equal accomadation on the basis of their disabilities.